Audi expects the new A3 sedan version to sell better than the existing convertible and hatchback variants, helping the automaker narrow the gap with BWM.
“We assume every second A3 customer will opt for the sedan in the future, ” said Josef Schlossmacher, an Audi spokesman.
Audi’s profit is of utmost importance for parent company VW which plans to surpass GM and Toyota and become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018. Audi has already spent more than 900 million euro to expand the Gyor plant and VW also plans to make investments to build new plants in China and acquire the MAN truck unit.
“Our aim is to maintain the favorable liquidity position, the strong capital structure and our good rating in comparison with Volkswagen’s competitors,” VW Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said in a statement.
During the first quarter Audi accounted for 56% of VW’s operating profit and in April the automaker’s CEO Martin Winterkorn pledged to boost the company’s presence in the premium-auto segment. BMW, Audi and Mercedes are all aiming towards record sales this year, relying on increased demand in the US and China, which will help offset the loss in Europe.